The US government has officially banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone from all airplane flights in the country, beginning at Noon Eastern time on Saturday, October 15.
The ban, which is a response to continued threats of the smartphone’s battery exploding, covers not only U.S commercial flights but also cargo planes. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration stated that anyone who tries to travel with a Galaxy Note 7, or tries to pack it in checked luggage, will have the phone confiscated. Those folks could also face fines for violating the ban, along with possible criminal prosecution.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated:
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”
A Samsung spokesperson has also issued a statement from the company about the DOT ban:
“Samsung, together with carriers, is working to communicate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new order to ban all Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights. We have encouraged airlines to issue similar communications directly to their passengers. Any Galaxy Note7 owner should visit their carrier and retail store to participate in the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program now. We realize this is an inconvenience but your safety has to remain our top priority.”
Previously, the DOT had allowed the Galaxy Note 7 to be placed on board airplane flights, but only if they were powered down and not in use. This new ban effectively keeps the smartphone from all flights, regardless of they are powered down or not. Samsung announced a few days ago it was ending production of the Galaxy Note 7 after continued reports that even some of its replacement phones were exploding. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also issued a second and final recall order on the smartphone. Samsung is now offering up to $100 in bill credits to any Galaxy Note 7 owners who switch to another Galaxy handset, or $25 in credit for people who either want a full refund or if they switch to another phone made by a company outside of Samsung.